Question of the week: How many kids in my area are caught in a family crisis?


How many live in single-parent homes in your area? Have you seriously thought about the hundreds and maybe thousands of children in your area and their home situations?

A lot of times, ministers and church leaders misunderstand the number of children in family crisis and single-parent homes in their communities. It is important to understand statistics because these numbers help you see how many children in your community need to be in your church. The majority of these kids are the ones who need to be introduced to Christ.

Ministering to these families can be a bridge between your church and your community.

How do you find out how many children live in single-parent homes in your community? You may be asking, “Are there really that many?” Yes, in almost every community, there are that many.

Let me give you an example. I live in the Panhandle of Florida. In the congressional district where I live, Congressional District 1, in 2011, the most current data, the numbers were

  • Father-only households: 6% = 10,000 children
  • Mother-only households: 30% = 46,000 children

You can do the math: 56,000 children in my little corner of the world—the Panhandle of Florida. That is 36% of children in our area live in a single-parent home, but I doubt that 1 in 3 children in our church classes come from this kind of home. Here is some more interesting information about other children in our area:

  • Cohabiting households: 6% = 10,000 children
  • Care of grandparents: 6% = 10,000 children

The Annie E. Casey Foundation is where I go for statistics, and it does an incredible job of collecting data and information on children in the United States. You can find information for your state, your congressional district, and various cities in your state.

The Kids Count National Indicators page allows you to break down the information you seek:

Other Kids Count National Indicators might be useful to your ministry and church leaders:

  • Race and ethnicity
  • Community environment—living in concentrated poverty
  • Other economic well-being—children living in home without a vehicle
  • Poverty
  • Employment and income

Don’t think there are children in your area from single-parent homes and children in family crisis? Think again, and check it out for yourself.

Share with us what you learn about the kids in your community.


This article is updated and adapted from an article originally published on the Kids & Divorce blog on September 22, 2014.


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